- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 20, 2004

SEATTLE — Daniel Cabrera thinks he has enough talent to remain in the Baltimore Orioles’ rotation.

Nobody would argue so far.

Cabrera earned his second victory since he was called up from the minors, leading Baltimore over the Seattle Mariners 7-2 on Tuesday night.

“In my mind, I’m going to pitch as good as I can to stay up here,” Cabrera said through a translator. “I listen to the older players, and the older players give me a lot of confidence.”

Larry Bigbie homered and drove in three runs for the Orioles, who won for only the fourth time in 23 games at Safeco Field.

Seattle has lost eight of nine, dropping to 13-25 and falling 12 games under .500 for the first time since Sept.14, 1998.

Cabrera (2-0), a 6-foot-7 right-hander called up from Class AA Bowie a week ago, allowed two runs and six hits in 62/3 innings. He gave up homers to Raul Ibanez in the second and Bret Boone in the fifth.

“After the home runs, I figured I was throwing the ball up, so in my mind I had to throw the ball down,” Cabrera said. “That’s how you get groundballs in the infield.”

Orioles catcher Javy Lopez liked the 22-year-old pitcher’s poise.

“He was very comfortable, and I let him pitch his game,” Lopez said. “What you saw was a pitcher who was pretty much in control. He looked pretty mature out there.”

Cabrera has a 1.42 ERA in 122/3 innings spanning two starts.

“I don’t see a scared kid at all,” teammate Jay Gibbons said. “I see a guy who looks like he’s been up here about 10 years.”

Seattle’s Rich Aurilia said Cabrera wasn’t overpowering but knew what he was doing.

“The kid pitched a good game,” Aurilia said. “He had his location, and we really didn’t mount any offense.”

Bigbie broke out of a 1-for-16 slump in the sixth, when he hit his sixth homer of the season, a two-run shot off Freddy Garcia (1-3) that followed a double by Luis Matos and made it 5-1.

Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli hopes Bigbie’s homer turns his season around. The second-year outfielder is batting only .233 after hitting .303 last season

“He hasn’t been where he should be,” Mazzilli said. “He had some good at-bats tonight. Maybe that will jump-start him a little bit.”

Baltimore’s Melvin Mora, who leads the American League with a .377 batting average, went 3-for-5 with two RBI.

Boone, who went 1-for-3, returned to Seattle’s starting lineup at second base after being held out for five games because of a strained left hip flexor. Ichiro Suzuki increased his hitting streak to 16 games with a fifth-inning single.

Baltimore built a 3-0 lead on Miguel Tejada’s RBI double in the first, and Bigbie’s RBI groundout and Mora’s run-scoring single in the second.

Garcia allowed five runs, seven hits and three walks in six innings.

“I think I had pretty good stuff, but they made me pitch tonight,” Garcia said.

Brian Roberts and Mora each hit an RBI single in the ninth.

Notes — Fans in Seattle, where Randy Johnson pitched from 1989 to 1998, cheered and applauded as the final inning of Johnson’s perfect game at Atlanta was shown on Safeco Field’s big screen. Johnson holds Mariners records for wins (130), shutouts (19), starts (266) and strikeouts (2,162), and he won the 1995 AL Cy Young Award with Seattle. … Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez did not start because of a sore back but struck out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning.

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